The 3 directions a creative brief can follow:
1. Smooth Sailing - The client is able to answer all questions with relevant detailed information, and says more than “I need it to look professional”. The design is created and accepted by the client.
2. Crickets - Client answers most questions with: “I’m not sure” or “I didn’t think of that” or “That’s a good question”. Client needs some alone time with the creative brief and when we meet again - they will have loads to tell us! If the designer moves forward with an incomplete creative brief they will be creating superficial design that is not specific or strategic.
3. Blind-sided - Everything seems OK - all questions are answered and understood, but when the design is presented the client is not comfortable with it. In many cases a rogue "design savvy" acquaintance has swooped in and given feedback on the design and has shaken the client's confidence. At this point designer and client need to meet and review the creative brief, making adjustments and providing more information so the design can be refocused.
Regardless of which path the creative brief takes, all can lead to successful design. It will just take patience, focus and communication from both parties.